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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


GROVES-PINETT, Marla; ABDELNOUR, Arturo; SOLEY, Carolina  and  ARGUEDAS-MOHS, Adriano. Meningococcal disease: epidemiology, diagnosis and vaccination. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2013, vol.55, n.1, pp.08-17. ISSN 0001-6002.

Invasive meningococcal disease caused by N. meningitidis is a global public health problem due to its high morbidity and mortality. Most cases are caused by serotypes A, B, C, W-135 and Y. Currently, prevention through vaccination is the best tool to decrease the global burden caused by this disease. Non-conjugated vaccines that utilize as its basis only the polysaccharide capsule are helpful in epidemic scenarios, but fail to produce adequate long-term immunogenicity in the population at greater risk, those under 2 years of age. New generation vaccines, in which the polysaccharide is conjugated to protein carriers, induce a better immune response in the population under 2 years of age. Such an improved immune response could eventually have a significant impact on the population at higher risk. Recent findings in diagnostic techniques are contributing to improve the prognosis of this disease by allowing for an earlier and more specific diagnosis that leads to an earlier onset of treatment. The development of vaccines that provide wider serotype coverage, especially against serotype B, and induce protection to the population at greatest risk remains a challenge.

Keywords : N. meningitidis; meningococcal disease; epidemiology, serotypes; vaccines..

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